Romans 13, Part 4
Jan 05, 2011
Viewing the world through the lens of the sovereignty of God changes the color of everything.
When we study the book of Judges, we view the various captivities of Israel from the divine perspective, rather than from the normal patriotic spirit of nationalism. We view God as the King of Kings, having the right to demand obedience to His Laws. He has the right to penalize us when we reject his rule and His laws.
In Judges 3:8 we read that God "sold them into the hands of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia" because of Israel's refusal to be obedient. In the second captivity, we read that "the Lord strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the Lord."
Never does Scripture indicate that Israel's captivity was caused by the power of the enemy. Never does it attribute a captivity to the intelligence or military might of the foreign invaders. God always takes credit for it, and the reason for captivity is always the same.
The only difference between then and now is that today the captivity is to a "mystery" power, that is, a secret or hidden power. In the time of the Judges, the captivities were always visible and open for all to see. Yet God's purpose in making the present captivity a "mystery" is to prevent us from making the same mistake that the people of Judah made in the days of Jeremiah. They saw the army of Babylon coming, and being patriotic but carnal in their thinking, they decided to fight. But God, in His mercy upon us, took into account our carnality and hid our captivity from the eyes of most people. That way, we submitted to the judgment of God and remained under the lighter yoke made of wood.
With every captivity throughout Scripture, the primary factor of the wooden yoke was "paying tribute," or TAXES. Hence, Judges 3:15 says of Ehud, "the sons of Israel sent tribute by him to Eglon the king of Moab." And so, Paul says in Rom. 13:6 and 7,
(6) For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God devoting themselves to this very thing. (7) Render to all what is due them; tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
Americans do not like taxes. I am one of them. Our nation was essentially founded on a tax revolt, much like Israel revolted against the son of Solomon in 1 Kings 12. In 1776 the biblical pattern was Israel's revolt, and so we can understand the divine will and plan for that time. However, since 1914 the divine plan has shifted, because America fell into the same sin that had caused both Israel and Judah to go into captivity.
We are without excuse, for God poured out His Spirit upon us from 1900-1910. The early Pentecostal movement had opportunity to change the hearts of the people and cause them to re-establish the rule of Jesus Christ in America. Yet in 1910 they denominationalized the move of the Spirit and rejected the direct rule of Jesus Christ.
They followed the pattern of Israel demanding a man to rule over them. We read in 1 Samuel 8:4-7,
(4) Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah; (5) and they said to him, Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations. (6) But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to judge us." And Samuel prayed to the Lord. (6) And the Lord said to Samuel, "Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them."
God went on to reveal that the results would be that the king would be a TAKER. In other words, he would tax the people to support his carnal desires. Saul was crowned on the feast of Pentecost, called the day of "wheat harvest" (1 Sam. 12:17), and he is the classic Pentecostal type of the Old Testament. Saul is both a political and a religious figure. Throughout much of the Church Age, the Roman popes fulfilled the prophetic type of King Saul. But in the early 1900's the new Pentecostal denominations played the role of Saul as well.
The Pentecostal people themselves did not realize that in setting up a man over them, they were actually rejecting Christ as their King. Neither did they understand that they had been called to determine America's future and the future of much of the world. By their decision to create human "kings" over the Church, they inadvertently decided to put the entire world under the bondage of men. Thus, even as the denominations demanded tithes from the members, so also did the new Babylonian government demand taxes from all men.
Saul demanded the tithes from the people (1 Sam. 8:15) to pay for his government, and no doubt he legitimized his demands on the grounds that he had been anointed by Samuel. So also did the denominational leaders legitimize their claims to the tithe on the grounds that they were divinely called to rule the people in the place of Christ.
Samuel told the people that this new system of human government could actually work out alright, if they would follow God with all their hearts (1 Sam. 12:19-25). If the king understood that he was only the administrator of God's laws and decrees, then there would be no problem. But if he usurped power and ruled by his own carnal mind in rebellion against the laws of God, the ensuing oppression would judge the people.
In the rise of the Pentecostal movement in the early 1900's, the people came to believe that the law had been put away, or that it was evil. Somehow to them the Law of God appeared to conflict with the leading of the Spirit. They thought that one could be led by the Spirit without regard to the Law, not understanding that "the Law is spiritual" (Rom. 7:14) and that God does not command us to do something that conflicts with the Holy Spirit.
Thus, in rejecting the Law of God as well as the direct rule of Christ, the Pentecostal movement was unable to prevent the captivity that was to come shortly. While the denominations were being formed in 1910, the bankers were meeting on Jekyl Island to plan their takeover through the Federal Reserve Act, which was then passed in 1913 and signed into law in February of 1914.
The Income Tax Amendment was then passed in 1916, designed to make Americans pay tribute. It came in the guise of a tax on corporate "income" only, but in practice, it was soon applied to personal "wages" as well.
It is not our purpose here to discuss the various ways of avoiding taxes, but I will say as a general principle that the government distinguishes between tax evasion and tax avoidance. There are lawful ways to avoid paying taxes, and it is both legal and morally acceptable to do so. Yet in the big picture, we should recognize that God has taken credit for the overthrow of the Republic and for subjecting us to the secret government of Mystery Babylon. It is my purpose as a Bible teacher to impart understanding so that we may repent of the CAUSES of this captivity. It is not our calling to overthrow those to whom God has sold us for our sin. It is our calling to repent from the sins that caused God to bring such judgment upon us and upon the whole world.
This is the fourth part of a series titled "Romans 13." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones